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Home » What's New » The Optometrist Recommends: Eat Carrots for Healthy Eyes

The Optometrist Recommends: Eat Carrots for Healthy Eyes

You may have been told that carrots improve your eyesight, but is this the truth? Eye doctors know that regardless of how many carrots you eat, they can't actually improve your eyesight. However, they do contain large amounts of beta-carotene, a vitamin that is beneficial for the health of your eyes and therefore consuming foods rich in this vitamin is surely advised for proper eye health.

Beta-carotene is an orange pigment (carotenoid) that changes into vitamin A once absorbed in the human body. Vitamin A helps to protect the cornea, or surface of the eye, and has been proven to prevent certain eye diseases such as corneal ulcers. Vitamin A, an antioxidant compound, protects the cornea to reduce the risk of ocular infections as well as other infectious diseases. Vitamin A has also shown to be a successful solution for dry eye syndrome and other eye conditions. A deficiency of this important vitamin (which is exist more in underdeveloped countries) is known to cause night blindness, corneal ulcers and retinal damage which can lead to total blindness.

Two forms of vitamin A exist, which depend upon the food source they come from. Vitamin A derived from an animal is called Retinol and can be obtained from foods such as beef, chicken liver, or dairy products. Vitamin A that is fruit and vegetable-derived comes in the form of ''provitamin A'' carotenoids, which break down to retinol after the nutrients are absorbed. In addition to carrots, carotenoids are ingested when eating colorful fruits and vegetables particularly those that are bright orange or green in color.

There is no question that through most forms, vitamin A contributes to the health of your eyes and your total well being. Although carrots won't correct near or far-sightedness, grandma was right when she said ''finish your carrots.''